Charlotte Hornets: How Precious Achiuwa Could be the Steal of the Draft

Memphis Tigers Precious Achiuwa. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Memphis Tigers Precious Achiuwa. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte Hornets draft prospect, Memphis Tigers Precious Achiuwa. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

With the NBA’s return in question for the Charlotte Hornets, Swarm and Sting breaks down one of the most underrated prospects of the 2020 NBA Draft

Regardless of the Eric Collins call possibilities that would come with the Charlotte Hornets selecting, Precious Achiuwa in the upcoming draft, Mitch Kupchak should seriously target the athletic forward for a myriad of reasons.

Achiuwa, coming off of a shortened freshmen campaign at the University of Memphis, was a top recruit coming out of high school.

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After dominating at three basketball powerhouse high schools, he impressed scouts even more with a game-high, 22 points in the 2019 McDonald’s All-American game. A few months after that showing, Achiuwa committed to Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Tigers.

The 6-9 slasher joined a talented freshman crop in Tennessee. Regardless of playing down low alongside the number one recruit the previous season, James Wiseman, Achiuwa still managed to stand out. Despite averaging 15.8 points for the season, he truly burst onto the scene later on in the year. Once conference plays started in January, he posted seven, 20 point double-doubles.

The most impressive game on his resume is arguably Memphis’ final contest. In a pivotal conference tournament game amidst a world crisis, Achiuwa notched 25 points and 12 boards while going perfect from the line (5-5) and showcasing a reliable stroke from behind the arc. This progression in the shooting department was crucial for NBA scouts to see. However, more on that aspect of his game further on in the breakdown.

Despite a shortened season, Achiuwa still took home several conference accolades. These included American Athletic Conference’s (AAC) Freshman of the Year award and the highly regarded, Player of the Year award.

Over the course of the conference’s history, he is the first freshman to ever win the Player of the Year award. The Nigeria native joins other NBA players, Shabazz Napier and Semi Ojeleye, as recipients of the award. However, there is little doubt that provided Achiuwa’s skillset and upside, and he will be more successful at the next level than the aforementioned players.

Here is how Achiuwa can be molded into the big-man presence that the Hornets need going forward.